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Tesco’s fall from grace

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Tesco's share price slid again today, although the firm has announced that the new Finance Director Alan Stewart started work three months earlier than expected. 

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Every little counts against Tesco

Monday, September 22, 2014

News about Tesco's troubles comes thick and fast, today's bad news about overstating profits has wiped off 11.59% of the share price. It fell by 26 pence to £2.03.  

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Networked Manufacturing - The Complexity and Culture of Global Production

A fascinating video here from the excellent Peter Marsh of the FT which explores the complexity of manufacturing operations at the world's largest eyewear maker Luxottica.

You probably haven't heard of Luxottica, but you will almost certainly be familiar with their broad product range. Luxottica's best known brands are Ray-Ban, Persol and Oakley. It also makes sunglasses and prescription frames for a multitude of designer brands such as Chanel and Prada, whose designs and trademarks are used under license.

In total, Luxottica is estimated to have around 80% of the global market for eyewear. It is also a vertically-integrated business with over 7,000 retail outlets around the world, many them trading under the Sunglass Hut brand.

Luxottica has six plants in Italy and two in China.

In the video, Peter Marsh introduces the concept of networked manufacturing. This concept is explained further by this excellent Economist article. The close integration of marketing (new product development & brand / product portfolio management) with operations is a key theme explored in the video.

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UK Manufacturing - A Short Video Introduction to the UK Automotive Sector

The UK automotive manufacturing sector is one of the most successful and vibrant parts of manufacturing in the UK.

To get students excited to learn more about great case studies like JLR, Nissan, Honda and JCB, show them this short video. It's packed with useful research stats too - how many can they jot down on first viewing (and then show them again!)

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Choosing a Business Location: Manufacturing in South-east Asia?

Where should multinationals base their manufacturing operations? What are the risks involved in changing location? How can these risks be mitigated? 

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The Biz Quiz - 18 September 2014

Thursday, September 18, 2014

The latest edition of The Biz Quiz is now live! Good luck everyone...

Launch The Biz Quiz - 18 September 2014

Download printable version

Download solution (teachers only)

Lesson Activity - Cashflow-Cluedoh!

Cashflow Cluedoh!, our free murder mystery game for business teachers, has just reached the 20,000 download level! Grab this popular lesson activity below.

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The Young Millionaire’s Dilemma

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

An interesting and inspirational story for all AS Business Studies students. Nick d’Aloisio wrote an app called Summly at his parents’ home when he was 15. At 17 he sold it to Yahoo for £20million. He now works for the internet giant in California, project managing the rebranded app News Digest… whilst still sitting his A-level exams!

The young entrepreneur is now deliberating whether or not to go to University. Attached is a short research task with videos and articles that asks students to create a balanced, evaluative argument about the pros of cons of Nick going to university. They must then apply the same question to themselves to see how the reasons differ.

It works well to introduce the key skills of application, analysis and evaluation, whilst learning about one of the UK’s most successful young entrepreneur.

Face-It! Business CEOs (Lesson Activity)

How well do your students know their CEOs? You are about to find out - if you choose to try this lesson activity - Face-It CEOs.

Face It is a resource that has proved very popular when we've used it during our business teacher CPD events.

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Business Cafe - New Case Studies for the New Term

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Andy Reeve and the teacher team on Business Cafe have just uploaded six new mini case studies and articles as the first contributions to a new year of resources on Business Cafe.

We've made these available as a download for everyone - for these resources only - so you can see the excellent materials that the Business Cafe team produce.

A school subscription to Business Cafe is just £50 the rest of this school year. This also provides access to the hundreds of case studies and articles that have been published by Business Cafe over recent years.

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Business Simulation - The Trading Game

Friday, September 12, 2014

There is nothing that better epitomizes the concept of being entrepreneurial than trading - buying and selling - hopefully profitably!

That's the idea behind The Trading Game - an interactive teaching and learning resource developed by tutor2u.

To request your free copy of The Trading Game simulation, please submit the following form and we will automatically send you the download link

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Welcome to Business!  Make the Most of Twitter!

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Hundreds of thousands of business students have just started their new courses and we wish them and their teachers every success!

A key part of doing well in on any business course is to develop knowledge and understanding of how businesses operate in real life. The theory and terminology can appear a bit daunting at first, but it become much easier if you take a little time each week to watch and read the business news stories. It helps bring your studies to life.

There are so many easy ways of doing this. Here are some of our top suggestions.

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The Biz Quiz - 11 September 2014

The latest version of The Biz Quiz is now ready for you to attempt!

Launch The Biz Quiz - 11 September 2014

Download printable version

Download solution (pdf)

WOW Business 2015 - A Sneak Preview

WOW! Business 2015 is our brand new resource packed CPD for ALL business teachers. It follows in the huge footsteps of TBBLE (The Best Business Lesson Ever) and provides teachers with a set of brand new resources that can be used immediately within the classroom. 

The format of WOW! Business is simple. A day dedicated to making business lessons more engaging with a set of resources and strategies covering key topics within the business curriculum. We find that the best way to experience the resources is to have a go which makes for a fun and interactive day.

WOW! Business 2015 consists of over 35 different resources developed by a team of experienced and passionate business teachers. I have briefly described a selection of the new resources below

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Apple - Perfect timing for teaching so many things…

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

As I am sure you will have all seen on the news, Apple have launched their new products this week.

This is the first new product they have launched since the sad death of Steve Jobs a couple of years ago and the first new product since they unveiled the ipad!!

read more...»

The Business of Religion

As an interesting way to introduce 3 of the 4 functional areas (and illustrate to students that business studies concepts are everywhere), I used these 3 news stories about how different religions have changed their strategies this year.

Pope Francis stamps out corruption in the Vatican Bank - By refusing to “do business” with certain unscrupulous customers, the profit at the Vatican Bank has dropped from £68m euros to just £2.3m. A strong move from Il Papa, but should a church make any profit at all?

Jehovah’s Witnesses change their marketing strategy - Instead of the door-to-door approach, Jehovah’s witnesses are trying to increase awareness of (and recruitment to) their “brand” by targeting train stations and shopping centres. Will this new tactic prove successful?

Church of England vote for women bishops - Traditionalist believed that as Jesus only “employed” male apostles, only men should lead the church. A recent vote has put an end to this misogyny, but one member of the church said “This is a show for the media. It's the end of the Church as we know it”. Should the church be exempt from the Sex Discrimination Act?

The lesson has now ended. All go in peace.

The Eliminator - Welcome to Business!

Here's an engaging teaching activity that you might want to try with your new Business Studies classes!

The Eliminator is a PowerPoint slideshow quiz that asks 10 'True' or 'False' questions (e.g. Samsung is one of China's leading companies: true or false?).

Print off the True/False cards from the resource and hand out one to each of your students.

Ask them all to stand and then show the first question. Students must then hold up the card that reflects what they believe is the answer. After revealing the answer, those students who were incorrect must sit down (they are 'eliminated') and those that were correct can continue with the next question.

Can any of your business students survive all 10 questions and best the last ones standing?

Click here to download the resource.

The Perfect BUSS1 Video – Steve Jobs Billion Dollar Hippy

Monday, September 08, 2014

The story of Apple, from inception up until 2011, is told beautifully in this 50 minute BBC documentary (available on Netflix or via this link) and literally covers all 15 sections in the BUSS1 specification (and quite a few from BUSS2 too). As an added bonus, I’ve created this 30-question worksheet to keep students focused.

A fantastic insight into one of the biggest companies in the world, a ready-made lesson... and chance for you to put your feet up for an hour!

Hope it helps!

Technology & Manufacturing - Innovation in Diesel Engine Design & Production

A great video here from the Royal Institution which illustrates how technology and manufacturing move together through the process of new product development.

The location for the video is a JCB engine factory and our guide explains how technological change impacts on the development of the next generation of high-powered diesel engines.

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New A Level Business Specifications - Teacher Survey

Sunday, September 07, 2014

A request to all our fellow A Level business teachers! Please complete this brief survey form about the new A Level Business specifications.

We' like to get a sense, from the aggregated survey responses, about which of the new specifications are likely to prove most popular (or unpopular!)

Teaching Vacancy: Business Management Lecturer at Abingdon and Witney College

Details below of an excellent opportunity for an experienced Business Lecturer to join a highly successful team as course leader and lecturer for BTEC Business courses.

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Business Studies Revision Quizzes - Master Listing

Try these multiple choice revision quizzes for key business studies topics!  We've indicated in brackets where the revision quiz is particularly suitable for GCSE. All other quizzes are designed for AS & A2 business.

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Free Business Studies Resource! ‘Whilst you were away’ Quiz!

Friday, September 05, 2014

'Whilst you were away' is a resource that is ideal as a starter to stimulate discussion in the classroom. The resource shows a montage of images with questions that relate to business stories from around the world during the summer. The montage remains on screen with a 3 minute timer fading away at the bottom of the screen - ask your students (individually or in small teams) to answer all 9 questions in the 3 minutes available.

Then go through the answers one at a time - there is an individual slide showing the answer to each question plus a supplementary question for each image to stimulate discussion about key business studies concepts all relating to the images on the resource. This is a Powerpoint resource so feel free to edit the questions as you see fit

Click here to download your free resource

The Biz Quiz - 4 September 2014

Thursday, September 04, 2014

The Biz Quiz returns for the new academic year with 10 more questions on the recent business news!

Launch The Biz Quiz - 4 September 2014

Download printable worksheet

Download quiz answers (teachers only)

EntrepreneurLIVE! 2014 - Bin Business Challenge

Wednesday, September 03, 2014

This year's student challenge for EntrepreneurLIVE! 2014 is Bin Business. The first parts of Bin Business also make a cracking induction activity for all business students by getting them to use their imagination, teamwork and creativity to come up with new product idea. All you need for this to work well is a nice selection of recycled household items and lots of imagination. Enjoy!

To download Bin Business, please complete the following short online form

EntrepreneurLIVE! 2014

We are pleased to announce details of EntrepreneurLIVE! 2014 - our enrichment event that connects students with fantastic entrepreneurs - LIVE!

Download a booking form here or contact Janet Cahill in the tutor2u office with your required numbers

You can also download some promotional flyers to use to encourage your students to attend - details at the foot of this blog entry!

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BUSS4 research theme and the impact of technological change on businesses manufacturing in the UK

Monday, September 01, 2014

With brilliant timing to coincide with the first bullet-point for the new AQA BUSS4 research theme, today's Deloitte Monday Briefing focuses on Technology and Human Welfare. The piece considers the paradox between the very considerable effect that communication technologies have had on our daily lives, and the far less noticeable effect on output; measured productivity – effectively the efficiency of production – has improved far more slowly than the capacity of computers.

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Poor leadership examples!

Sunday, August 31, 2014

This great BBC article looks at 'The worst CEOs of 2013'

http://www.bbc.com/capital/story/20131212-the-worst-ceos-of-2013   Whilst this was written at the end of last year, it is a great starting point to consider some of the leadership issues that these businesses were suffering from, and then evaluate whether anything has changed for the positive since the start of 2014.

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Exam Coaching & Revision Workshops for AQA AS/A2 Business in 2015

The dates and locations for our programme of intensive exam coaching & revision days for AQA BUSS1, BUSS2, BUSS3 and BUSS3 in Spring 2015 are now available. 

To confirm your places on these highly popular days, please use these booking forms or contact Janet Cahill in the tutor2u office (email janet@tutor2u.net)

Booking form for BUSS1 & BUSS3 workshops

Booking form for BUSS2 & BUSS4 workshops (+ BUSS1/BUSS2 combined workshops)

To find out more about what goes on at these exam coaching & revision days, take a look at this introductory video!

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AQA A2 Business BUSS4 - Section A Research Theme 2015

The research theme for AQA BUSS4 Section A has now been published. For June 2015 the theme is Manufacturing in the UK.

Download the AQA Research Theme here

tutor2u is the leading provider of teacher and student support for BUSS4. Below we have outlined how you can fast-track your support for students taking BUSS4 in June 2015 with tutor2u’s unrivaled teacher and student resources.

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What do you mean by ‘Business Class’?

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Which airline boss has said for many years that “an airplane is nothing more than a bus with wings on”?

Of course, the answer is Michael O'Leary, the CEO of Ryanair - Europe's biggest budget airline. 

But, as Ryanair's passenger figures show that 25% of their customers are actually travelling on business, they have decided that now is the time to introduce a 'Business Class' service.

read more...»

Using Laurel and Hardy in Business Lessons!

Friday, August 29, 2014

I was watching 'towed in a hole' last night which is a classic short by Laurel and Hardy. The opening 3 minutes are pure business gold.

Ollie's first lines are:

'For the first time in our lives we are a success. A nice little fish business and making money'

Stan then goes onto explain how the business can make even more money........

The opening few minutes would make a great little starter on adding value or methods of increasing profit.

The rest of the short film (22 minutes) also has some nuggets of business gold that could be used including quality. Another idea could be to show the entire short film and ask students to look out for the business studies issues and concepts.

Wonderful.......

Gallery of Entrepreneurs

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

The first lesson of the year with any group is always difficult – usually by the time I get to know their names, hand out the textbooks and go over the course outline we are all in need of a fun activity.

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A Level Business New Specifications - Free Briefing

Monday, August 25, 2014

Our comparison of the three main exam board specifications for the new A Level Business is now available to download.

Download tutor2u A Level Business Specification Briefing

We have focused on comparing the teaching content and approach to assessment for the three main exam boards.

AQA comes out a clear winner followed by the new challenger Pearson Edexcel. OCR's Business specification looks one to avoid.

Of course this is all a matter of opinion and every colleague will have a view not just on the new teaching content & exam formats, but also the relationship they have with their existing exam board (trust in marking, communication etc) and whether swapping is an option from Sept 2015.

Don't forget that we have a resource-packed CPD course on the new specifications for all existing AQA centres and also centres considering swapping to the most popular specification.

The all-new WOW! Business 2015 also includes teaching & learning resources that are designed to support the new teaching content that ALL exam boards are required to include in their new specifications.

How some small British firms can break into the USA market

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Typically the success of UK firms in the USA has been mixed, Fresh and Easy the American Tesco, pulled out last year after making losses for 6 years. This ended up costing the company £1.2bn and affected their reputation.

Other firms who havent been successful -

  • HMV pulled out in 2004
  • Laura Ashley sold its US chain for a dollar in 1999
  • Marks & Spencer lost money when it sold US fashion chain Brooks Brothers  in 2001
  • Sainsbury's sold its Shaw's upmarket grocery chain in 2004
  • http://www.bbc.com/news/business-28756060

    This is a great article for looking at enterprise, marketing strategy and growth as well as other topics on the A Level syllabus.

    read more...»

    Business Logo cakes – continuous improvement.

    Saturday, August 16, 2014

    Two years ago, I blogged on the Great Business Logo Bake Off and while some fantastic cakes were produced, I raised the point that I was hoping to get more students involved, and would think of some strategies to do this.

    read more...»

    Amazon’s product portfolio

    Thursday, August 14, 2014

    Amazon yet again launch a new product!

    "Amazon has released a smartphone and  tablet add-on that can be used to swipe debit and credit cards to allow  payments. The Local Register device is targeted at small businesses as an alternative  to a cash-register system"

    http://www.bbc.com/news/technology-28773906

    read more...»

    Growth with Inflation

    Sunday, August 10, 2014

    Over the last couple of days I have been watching balloons take off at Bristol's Balloon Fiesta. An evening out with friends, and a few pints may have inspired Don Cameron to take a risk, but a love of aeronautics or flying helped.

    read more...»

    CSR - Unilever’s Strategy & Culture of Sustainability

    A superb article here from The Economist that should be essential reading for all students required to develop their understanding of corporate social responsibility (“CSR”) and, specifically, the concept of sustainability.

    read more...»

    AQA BUSS4 Research Theme Toolkit for June 2015

    Friday, August 08, 2014

    Our popular research theme toolkit for the June 2015 BUSS4 exam can now be pre-ordered here

    The research theme for the exam on 17 June 2015 will be published by AQA at the start of September 2014 and our team of experienced BUSS4 teachers and examiners will set to work immediately. We'll aim to get the full toolkit completed by the end of October. The aim, as always, is to provide high quality, focused research support for the selected theme that will save you substantial time and enable your students to maximise the effectiveness of their time preparing for BUSS4.

    The BUSS4 research theme toolkit can also be ordered using this printable order form.

    We are once again running a programme of CPD days that provide further support to teaching colleagues wanting to kick-start their BUSS4 lesson planning and delivery. In 2014 these courses, which I will once again run with Graham Prior) were attended by over 400 colleagues and sold-out very early.  If you would like to join us for what is always an enjoyable and useful course, please book your places as soon as possible.  Due to the popularity of the BUSS4 course, we are only accepting confirmed bookings. 

    Details of the BUSS4 Section A Briefings can be found here.

    Thinking further ahead, the full programme of our BUSS4 Intensive Exam Coaching & Revision Workshops is now confirmed and we've already had a few advanced bookings from schools wanting to secure some of the places before and after Easter. All the details of the BUSS4 workshops here together with all our other revision workshops for BUSS1, BUSS2 and BUSS3.

    AQA BUSS4 Section A CPD Briefings for June 2015

    Our AQA BUSS4 Section A Briefing 2015 will once again turbo-charge your teaching planning and preparation for the research theme for 2015 which will be published on 1 September 2014.

    read more...»

    Marketing Strategy - Twins Add Value to Humble Homewares Through Design Innovation

    Monday, August 04, 2014

    The use of innovative design as a source of competitive advantage lies at the heart of this entrepreneurial success story - detailed here in an excellent Guardian interview.

    It is always good to see twin brothers succeeding in business! And the Joseph twins seem to have combined their talents very effectively to help re-invigorate their family business.

    read more...»

    Takeovers: Morrison’s Disastrous Investment in Kiddicare

    If you are looking for a good recent example of how takeovers can destroy returns for shareholders (of the investing business), then add Morrison’s purchase of Kiddicare to the list!

    read more...»

    Strategy: Retrenchment for the Co-op Group to Reduce Gearing

    The Co-operative Group, which has endured a pretty horrific period recently, is now firmly on a path of retrenchment. It is starting to take some substantial steps to dispose of business units in order to reduce the group’s high level of debts (gearing) and to focus the group on core activities.

    read more...»

    Revision Presentation - Business Ethics

    This updated and extended revision presentation introduces the concept of business ethics. The distinction between ethical and legal behaviour is examined as are the potential benefits and drawbacks of ethical behaviour. Some topical examples of business ethics in action are also provided.

    read more...»

    WOW! Business 2015 - The UK’s Best Business Teacher CPD Course

    Sunday, August 03, 2014

    We're delighted to announce the initial programme of dates and locations for WOW! Business 2015 - our new flagship CPD course for ALL teachers of business.

    WOW! Business follows in the giant footsteps of TBBLE and builds on the phenomenal success of the resources provided over four years of TBBLE events!  The full course resource folder and CD from TBBLE 2014 can still be purchased from our online store, together with a selection of individual resources.

    We've expanded our business teaching contributor team even further to provide another resource-packed CPD day that we're sure you'll love.

    The confirmed dates and locations (so far) for WOW! Business 2015 are:

    11 November 2014: MANCHESTER

    12 November 2014: BIRMINGHAM

    13 November 2014: LONDON

    25 November 2014: GLASGOW

    28 November 2014: CARDIFF

    18 June 2015: LONDON

    19 June 2015: MANCHESTER

    Marketing Strategy - P&G Takes the Axe to its Brand Portfolio

    Are there too many brands chasing the available demand of households and other consumers? That's the view of AG Lafley, the CEO of Procter & Gamble ("P&G") - one of the world's leading multinationals in the fast-moving consumer goods ("FMCG") sector.

    P&G has announced that it will look to focus on a much smaller number of consumer brands and cull up to 100 brands from its extensive product portfolio. In a classic example of product portfolio management, P&G wants to focus on those 70-80 key brands that have existing strong market shares and/or fast growth prospects.

    read more...»

    Leadership & Change: Sergio Marchionne Drives Culture Change to Turnaround Chrysler and Fiat

    If business students are looking for a different example of how effective leadership can drive successful change, then they should add Sergio Marchionne to their research.

    Sergio Marchionne was initially best-known for leading the turnaround of the Italian automotive group Fiat. More recently, Marchionne has led the transformation of US automotive group Chrysler, taking Chrysler from the brink of bankruptcy at the lowest point of the financial crisis in 2008/9 to profitability.

    Marchionne took over as CEO of Fiat in 2004 and was able to return the struggling Italian car manufacturer to profitability with two years. He first connected with Chrysler when a strategic alliance was formed between Chrysler and Fiat (who took a 20% shareholding) as part of a US government-backed rescue of Chrysler as it tried to avoid bankruptcy. When Chrysler was able to pay off various US government loans in 2011, Fiat was left with a stake of over 50%. Since then, Fiat have been negotiating with a Chrysler employee trust in the US (which holds a substantial remainder of the shares in Chrysler) to complete a full takeover. A deal was finally agreed in early 2014 with the formalities now being completed. 

    read more...»

    Strategy – Multinationals Should Beware the “Local Dynamos”

    Thursday, July 31, 2014

    The world’s largest multinationals are in a constant search for revenue and profit growth, with many targeting emerging markets as the best source of growth that will satisfy their shareholders.

    read more...»

    Strategy - Tata Group Sets out its Conglomerate Vision

    Wednesday, July 30, 2014

    The headline above from the FT really caught my eye this morning. Tata Group, perhaps best known in the UK for its ownership of Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) and Corus, has set out ambitious plans to invest $35bn in capital spending over the next three years as part of its vision for the next 10 years.

    read more...»

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